Public inquiry no-show raises TC’s ire

HMRC

An operator has been disqualified for two years after the TC took into account a deliberate waste of tribunal resources when it failed to turn up to a public inquiry (PI). D&M Express in Lutterworth was called to a Cambridge PI after the haulier failed to attend a new operator seminar and then director Darryl Braithwaite failed to attend a scheduled site visit with a traffic examiner.

In his written decision following the PI, senior TC Richard Turfitt said that in the absence of the operator, there was nothing to contradict evidence that the operator had breached the conditions on its licence. “The operator has decided to absent itself from this hearing,” Turfitt said. “In addition, there has been no attempt to contact [traffic examiner] Slaney. Taken together, I have no assurance as to future compliance and conclude that the operator should be removed from the industry.”

Turfitt added that he had also decided to disqualify the company and its director and he had relied on a previous upper tribunal case to calculate the duration, which took into account “the purpose of wider deterrence and the deliberate waste of limited tribunal resources, which are funded by the fees paid by all operators. Taking these factors into account, I have determined on a disqualification period of two years”.